As we continue to focus on health and wellness this month, we reached out to DockATot mum and professional yogi Jesi Verchota for advice on how even the busiest of us can sneak in a quick power flow. Find out how Jesi incorporates her DockATot Deluxe+ into her yoga flow sessions and why fitting in at least 20 minutes of movement a day is essential to her well-being.
How has yoga helped you be a better mama?
One thing I know for sure is that when I take the time to workout, eat healthily, and meditate, I know I am a much better mother, wife, and friend. Adjusting to having two little ones has not been easy, but that is not an excuse for me to sacrifice my time. When I give myself the gift of self-care, I’m able to be the best version of myself. For me self-care looks like 20-30 minutes of movement every single day. Some days that movement involves a quiet practice while the boys are napping, and some days it involves boys crawling all over me while I try to remain strong and still in a yoga pose. I have also taken my training and what I have learned and incorporated it into playtime with the kids. We read yoga stories, play yoga games, and listen to bedtime guided meditations together.
When did you start practising?
I started practising at home in 2008. I received a yoga mat and DVD for my birthday and I used the same Yoga DVD for two years! I realised I wanted more so I joined a gym and tried different teachers and styles. In 2011 I wanted even more and pursed my 200hr YTT (Yoga Teacher Training). My practice has changed A LOT since then. I had the luxury of practising anywhere, anytime, flowing to a great album or in silence. Currently my practice is quick (yet effective) far from quiet and includes the challenge of entertaining the kids in order to complete my session.
Was there an "a-ha moment" of when you realised yoga was essential to your wellbeing?
I’m a former NBA Dancer and Cheerleader and danced my way through college! I have danced my entire life, so movement has always been a part of what I know. My first job out of grad school required a lot of travel (90% to be exact). I went from constantly moving to sitting in an airplane two days a week, every week. That is when I knew that yoga and movement were essential to my well-being.
It wasn’t until I had kids that I realised that meditation was essential to my wellbeing. sitting quietly taking time to connect my mind, breath and body are key to keeping me calm in the most hectic of moments.
Any tips for new mums looking to add yoga to their fitness routines?
Fitness and yoga with your kids can be fun for the both of you! Try working out with your little one by your side (in their DockATot) or holding them for added strength. It can be in the moment or a part of nap time routine!
Here are some ways to incorporate your little one into your yoga routine:
- Place sleepy baby in their DockATot Deluxe+ next to you and play peek-a-boo as you transition from one stretch to the other.
- Stretch over your little one in downward facing dog or plank and incorporate touch by rubbing baby’s belly while in a seated twist or massaging baby’s feet while in a forward fold!
Once baby is feeling settled you can add a little flow to your practice moving from one pose to the next on your mat nearby. Here are a few yoga flows to start with:
Down Dog to Plank Flow:
- Start in Downward Facing Dog
- INHALE Shift weight forward, shoulders over wrist to PLANK POSE
- EXHALE shift hips to the sky, DOWNWARD FACING DOG
- Repeat 3-4x
Seated twist to Mermaid Flow (Both sides)
- Start with legs swept over to one side
- INHALE take arms to sky
- EXHALE Reach opposite hand to opposite knee, reach other hand to the floor behind
- INHALE Lift front hand up and back lifting the hips
- Repeat 3-4x
Wide Leg Forward Fold and Twist:
- Begin with DockATot on mat between legs
- With your hands to your side, INHALE lengthen through your spine, EXHALE fold forward
- INHALE, stack the spine come up to seated
- EXHALE, Reach your left hand to right foot (right hand reaches back)
- INHALE Center, Reach to the opposite side
How has your dock helped you with your practice?
We have the Toy Arch, which has been an amazing accessory for our DockATot. My little one loves to bat at the toys and it’s fun to hear his giggles and see him work that hand eye coordination. I love having my DockATot on a mat right next to mine for a comfy place for my little one to be while I practice on my mat next to him. I teach mommy and me yoga as well and I have even brought him to class and docked him in his dock while I teach!
You can follow Jesi on Instagram at @Jesi_moves.
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